I am an NQT at a secondary school and absolutely loving teaching. I have a strong desire to move up quite quickly and want to be a Head of Dept in the next 5 years and an Assistant Head not long after. I work long days and go above and beyond my role to try to get myself noticed. Members of senior management have told me they have seen potential in me so I am sure that I will reach my ambition. However, at the same time as my drive and ambition, recently I have been consumed by an overwhelming desire to start a family. I am only on £25k and am the main breadwinner and am not married. I live in inner-London so money is a big consideration. I'm only 25 years old so there is no biological urgency. However, having a baby is all I can think about. I am really confused about how I feel. Whilst I know that if I got pregnant tomorrow I would make the best of it and be absolutely fine, I also don't want to hinder my career progression, which is also very very important to me (particularly as the main breadwinner). What I am really asking for is some advice about when would be the OPTIMUM time to have a baby (as I have already acknowledged, i'm sure I could cope at any time but am looking for the best case scenario). Am I better to wait until I am Head of Dept and have that salary under my belt? Should I wait until I go through threshold? Should I do it sooner and then just concentrate on career progression when I get back to work? I recognise that I will not be entitled to maternity pay until I have been there at least a year. I am also very concerned about letting down the people who have seen potential in me - they seem to be very impressed by all the extra time and effort I put into work but I am only able to do that because I don't have any other committments. Will my "potential" go when I have family committments? I am the only person in mine or my partner's family that has a degree and a "career" to speak of so I think this is why I am so desperate to progress career-wise. However, can I just switch off my in-built maternal instincts? Why do I feel like a "drop-out" if I opt to have a baby in my mid-late twenties in a stable career and relationship? Is this a result of my school sex education convincing me that having children would ruin my life?!! Help!